Co-Founder At Golden Fleece Vakhtang Gogokhia About Green Mining In Georgia
Vakhtang Gogokhia, one of the founders of the ecological mining company Golden Fleece, spoke about the development of the crypto industry in Georgia and explained how their team managed to build an affordable and harmless mining infrastructure.
Please, tell us about your project. Why did you choose such a mythical name for your company — Golden Fleece?
The Golden Fleece project is aimed to develop the mining industry in Georgia. Its main goal is to form a local community and expand cryptocurrency and blockchain. Our data centers consume cheap green electricity and are located in free industrial zones. We chose this name, Golden Fleece, following the legend of the Argonauts. It is a symbol of prosperity and wealth that was found in ancient land of Colchis (the territory of modern Georgia). This mythical motive became an inspiration for our brand, as we made an attempt to build an affordable, environmentally friendly and strong infrastructure for mining in Georgia and beyond. We don't mine gold ore but we do mine digital “gold" of the 21’st century − cryptocurrencies.
How did you come up with the idea to develop mining in Georgia?
I started mining cryptocurrencies back in 2015. Soon, more and more of my friends got involved in this activity. And in 2017 we decided to establish a full-fledged business. We opened the first farm in Telavi, and the second one was opened in Tbilisi. We have build another farm in the industrial zone in Kutaisi. There are 15 people in our team, the main office is in Tbilisi, but the technical staff is based in Kutaisi. We work in a free industrial zone and are exempt from taxes.
Was it difficult to start such a kind of business?
We had many difficulties, because we were the first company to run ICO in Georgia. We had problems with marketing. We did not hire outside agents or consultants, we did everything in-house. To be honest, we had to learn very quickly from our own mistakes.
Was your ICO successful?
We conducted the first round of ICO last year, which gave us the opportunity to open a data center in a free industrial zone. Now our goal is to expand production. In addition, we are developing software solutions. We collected about $500,000 and this sum was enough to open the data centers. We decided to develop the project gradually, because it is very difficult to make something truly great from a scratch. Also this approach helps to attract more supporters and investors. Each completed stage of our development proves that we are a legitimate business and not a scam.
How can you tell whether a project is a scam or not?
In fact, it is not that difficult to bring a fraudulent project to the surface. It all depends on people, on the team. It is very easy to trace the motivation of a person and determine his or her real intentions. In Georgia, we have a positive business environment. It is easy to start business here. Moreover, we are not afraid of competitors here, we try to cooperate with local companies.
Why is mining so popular in Georgia?
In Georgia, there are a lot of hydroelectric power stations. Hence, electricity tariffs are quite low. This created conditions for the development of mining in the country. The local business environment is very friendly, companies cooperate more than compete. In addition, the population of Georgia is quite small, and those several large data centers built are the reason why the number of miners per capita here is high. In addition, Georgian people easily accept new technologies, they are interested in innovations and are actively involved in this sphere. On the other hand, this is also a problem. The technologies are not ready for such a massive influx of interested people. They are just at the earliest stage of their development. Most likely, cryptocurrency will be able to make a part of our daily life not earlier than after 3-4 years.
What is your advantage over other projects?
We have developed a unique ergonomic design of containers for miners. We work with Bitmain equipment, as their products have already been tested and proved themselves perfectly. In one container, we can install 250 machines. Summer in Georgia is pretty hot for mining, so we have installed an adiabatic cooling system, which is much cheaper than others. We also provide hosting services, equipment procurement, and placement of clients' equipment.
Is your project successful?
We have already formed a fairly broad customer base. We are trying to build a community around our services. We have no limits when it comes to choosing the regions to work with. However, as time has shown, the CIS countries are more interested in our services, as they know more about Georgia and it is easier to establish contacts with them.